Chai - A Feel-Good Drink

 Jul 13, 2016 |  Written by Anupa Mueller

Chai is like a cup of cocoa – comforting, warm and relaxing.   In summer, it’s a tall cold glass on a hot day, a perfect alternative to a milk shake. The ideal Chai should be rich, creamy with the fully developed taste of Tea, Milk & Spices.  It shouldn’t be too watery or sugary-sweet.  Often this is what you find at many coffee shops and large chain quick-service establishments.  Why?  Because, more often than not, they use powders or syrups or concentrates whereas we start with Real Tea.  The aim is to produce a balanced cup where all 3 elements can be tasted individually yet combine together into one delicious taste.  What is Chai?  Typically, it's a black tea with milk, spices and sugar.  

It began in India as a simple drink and reflected the individual tastes of families and geographies.  Sometimes, just a bit of shaved ginger was added.  In other areas, green cardamom was the spice of choice.  Yet in others, it was a stick of cinnamon.  Over the years it evolved and Chai recipes today are limited only by one’s imagination.  The authentic Chai recipes in India call for boiling together water, tea, spices and sugar.  Strain the mixture and you have a perfect cup of Chai.  But steeping rather than boiling can also produce a great cup of Chai – the secret is to know the ratio of water to milk.

At Silver Tips, we began with a few basics – a regular Chai which we called the Original Blend, a non-caffeinated version and just one other.  Today, we offer multiple varieties.  The list below is in random order.  For added fun, here’s your opportunity to rank these in order of popularity at our Tea Room.  We will pick 3 winners at random from correct entries and reward you with 4 ounces of your favorite Chai.  To play our Chai game, CLICK HERE.

●   Chai – The Original Blend
●   Temple Chai
●   Herbal Chai
●   Chai Zing
●   Chocolate Chai
●   Mango Chai
●   Coconut Chai

    Customer feedback has been an important driver in adding to our Chai selections as well as heightened publicity and interest in all kinds of Chai – lattes, shakes, floats, chai-infused chocolates, pastries and candy.

    Chai is a feel-good drink.  Warm in the water, iced in the summer, it is nostalgia and anticipation rolled into one.  We’re in the Village of Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow where the town turns orange in October.  Pumpkins abound, haunted hay rides are eagerly awaited and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow is narrated to honor Washington Irving’s legacy.  Our bestseller then is Pumpkin Chai.

    Here’s your guide on how to select from our many versions:

    Chai – the Original Blend:  This is a perfect balanced mixture of Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger & Vanilla. 

    Chocolate Chai:  Indulgence in a cup.  Who can resist the decadent, comforting taste of tea, milk, chocolate and spices?  We keep this focused by adding ginger, cardamom and chocolate – both actual chips and flavor.  Our secret is a dash of Chocolate Syrup added to the cup once it’s been steeped full strength.

    Coconut Chai – This is creaminess doubled, both from the basic Chai recipe and then from the added shreds of Coconut and Coconut and Vanilla flavors.  We added some Ginger and Cinnamon to this mix and it is a winner.

    Herbal Chai – Experience the full taste of our Original Blend Chai with none of the caffeine.  We’ve replicated the blend on a Rooibos base which is South African red bush.

    Temple Chai – Perfect for those who think the regular Chai is just too spiced.  This is a simple and fragrant selection – Tea, Green Cardamom and vanilla.  The flavors are clean, the aroma lingers and the cup is sweet.

    Mango Chai – our most recent addition, this was the fruity taste we felt complemented Chai best.  It adds a tropical note that distinguishes it from the other Chai’s.  We blended it with Ginger, Cinnamon and Green Cardamom and then sprinkled in some mango bits and flavoring.  Delicious.

    Chai Zing – A tangy, refreshing addition to the Chai line.  Also non-caffeinated, this is Rooibos with ginger, cinnamon and lemongrass.

    Recently, we even added an Instant Chai, perfect for those times where you just have one minute and not five.  This kept us going when we visited China on a tea trip a few years ago.  Every hotel room came with plenty of Green tea and even Black.  But if you are craving a rich cup of Assam as your morning cup with milk and sugar, you are out of luck.  Milk is hardly ever served in China. We often ended our day steeping multiple cups of Instant Chai while we debriefed and planned the next day’s itinerary.

    Add some spice to your life – literally.  It’s good for you.  Cinnamon is known to lower blood sugar and bad cholesterol and adds a natural sweetness to foods. Cardamom is used in Asia to counteract digestive issues such as nausea, acidity and heartburn. Ginger has been used throughout the centuries to combat motion sickness, pain, nausea and even loss of appetite. 

    Here are some variations you may want to consider:

    ●   Add pumpkin puree to make Pumpkin Chai.
    ●   Add Fennel seeds to make Fennel Chai.
    ●   Add Black Pepper to give it that extra kick.
    ●   Add ice cream to iced Chai to make it a Chai Float.

      However you make it - add some spice to your life. And don’t forget, rank our Chai blends and win 4 ounces of FREE Chai.  PLAY HERE.


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